Photo courtesy of IMSA

Red Bull GRC: Gustavo Yacaman to make Lites debut at Louisville

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Open-wheel and sports car veteran Gustavo Yacaman will make his first entry into Red Bull Global Rallycross this weekend in Louisville, in the GRC Lites division.

The Colombian will drive for AF Racing. The full release is below:

Colombian open-wheel and sports car ace Gustavo Yacaman will join AF Racing to make his Red Bull Global Rallycross debut at this weekend’s event at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Driving the #4 GRC Lites car, Yacaman will join Lites veteran Alejandro Fernandez on the two-car team.

“I’m really excited to finally make my first start in a GRC Lites car!” said Yacaman. “I had my first opportunity to test the car all the way back in 2013, and ever since I’ve been looking for the right fit to make my debut. AF Racing has the right combination of speed and expertise to make my first weekend in Louisville a successful one, and I can’t wait to hit the track.”

“Having Gustavo on board in Louisville is a perfect fit for AF Racing,” added AF Racing principal David Fernandez. “This weekend will be the first time in Red Bull GRC history that two Colombian drivers have raced together on the same team. We’re looking forward to celebrating the milestone with a 1-2 finish!”

Yacaman, 26, has earned numerous race wins and podiums in racing series across the globe. He spent four years in Indy Lights from 2009 to 2012, taking three victories in total and finishing a career-best third in points in his final season. In 2013, he switched to racing sports cars full-time, earning LMP2 class wins in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship. In 2015, Yacaman finished fourth in class and 12th overall in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans start.

Fernandez, 21, sits fifth in GRC Lites points after last month’s season opener in Memphis. The three-time Fan Favorite Driver of the Year and driver of the #126 GRC Lites car will partner with his fellow Colombian to offer guidance and veteran experience in Yacaman’s transition to rallycross.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Louisville will take place this weekend, May 20-21, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. The GRC Lites action can be seen on Wednesday, May 24, at 5PM ET on NBCSN.

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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